The height of the Tatio Geysers, a wonder of the Andes

This post is also available in: Español

If you are planning what to see in Chile, visiting the Geysers del Tatio in San Pedro de Atacama cannot be missing from your list.

But, what are these “geysers” and what makes them so special? We tell you more about this natural spectacle that hides in the Andes, keep reading!

What are El Tatio Geysers?

In the heart of the Atacama Desert and only 90 km from its capital San Pedro de Atacama, are the El Tatio Geysers. In case you didn’t know, they are a kind of thermal spring that periodically emits a column of hot water and steam into the air. It’s like a sauna in the middle of nature!

In addition, the Tatio Geysers are the largest group of geysers in the southern hemisphere and the third-largest in the world, so if you’re in Chile, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit them!

Tatio geysers

Altitude of the Tatio Geysers

The El Tatio Geysers stand out because of their high altitude and it is not surprising knowing that they are located in the great Andes Mountains. They are at an altitude of 4,320 meters above sea level and form the highest geothermal field in the world.

Moreover, these geysers are surrounded by mountains that reach 5900 meters high, imagine how impressive the landscape can be!

In fact, it is said that one of these mountains seems to have the shape of a grandfather who cries, hence its name “El Tatio” which comes from the Kunza language and which means the same thing.

height of Tatio geysers

When to visit El Tatio Geysers

It is important to go to the Geiseres del Tatio early in the morning, between 6 and 9, since this is when the geysers are most active and their fumaroles are highest and most impressive, reaching 7 or 8 meters in height.

These steam fumaroles are produced by the contrast of temperatures between the boiling water, which can reach 85ºC (185ºC) and the cold environment, which usually does not exceed 15ºC (59ºF) all day.

El Tatio Geysers from San Pedro de Atacama

The tours to the Geysers del Tatio depart from San Pedro de Atacama at dawn between 4.30 and 5.00 a.m., to be able to get there in approximately one and a half hours and enjoy the most magical moment of the day in the geyser field.

During these excursions, you will be able to observe the incredible steam eruptions from up close, as well as take a thermal bath in the “Pozón Rústico” to recover from the cold. You won’t want to leave the water!

But the adventure doesn’t end here… You can also visit the “Poblado de Machuca”, a small village of agro-pastoral origin with a great historical and cultural attraction that will surprise you with its constructions made of adobe and straw.

House in Machuca town

As you can see, El Tatio Geysers are a hidden wonder in the Chilean Andes that you have to visit at least once in your life.

Now that you know a little more about them, will you want to miss out on the visit?


Celia loves animals and traveling, and if she can combine both and escape anywhere with her dog, her happiness is assured.

She loves nature in general, and the mountains in particular, so it is normal to find her on her days off with her trekking poles on her back. In Howlanders blog he gives us tips and recommendations that he has learned in each of his trips.

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